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Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo)
versão impressa ISSN 0031-1049
CHAABAN, Sameh Ben; CHERMITI, Brahim e KREITER, Serge. Effects of host plants on distribution, abundance, developmental time and life table parameters of Oligonychus afrasiaticus (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae). Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo) [online]. 2012, vol.52, n.10, pp. 121-133. ISSN 0031-1049. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0031-10492012001000001.
The biology and ecology of the date palm mite O. afrasiaticus have been studied through regular inspection in Tunisian oases and laboratory observations. Results indicate that the start date of fruit infestation varied between years and by date palm variety. Start dates ranged from the first week to the third week of July. The period spent by the mite on fruits varied from one variety to another; lasting 8 weeks on the Deglet Noor variety, 2 to 5 weeks on Alig, 2 to 4 weeks on Kentichi dates, and 2 to 4 weeks on Bessr fruits. The Deglet Noor variety was the most susceptible to O. afrasiaticus. Mite populations on the pinnae remained low from May through December. During autumn and spring, O. afrasiaticus was found on sorghum leaves in the orchard ground-cover. A life table study in the laboratory at 27°C on six host plants (fruits of date palms varieties Deglet Noor, Alig, Kentichi, Bessr, and Deglet Noor pinnae and sorghum leaves) showed that the life cycle of O. afrasiaticus differed among host plants with average values ranging between 13 on Alig fruits and 10.9 days on sorghum leaves. Relatively high fecundity was found on sorghum leaves (2 eggs/female/day) during 5.2 oviposition days, while low fecundity values occurred on Deglet Noor pinnae and Alig fruits with 0.7 eggs/female/day during 5.4 days. Average longevity of O. afrasiaticus females ranged from 13.4 to 7.5 days on Deglet Noor fruits and sorghum leaves, respectively. Intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was highest on sorghum leaves (0.171) and Deglet Noor fruits (0.166), and lowest on Alig fruits (0.103). Greater knowledge of life history traits and seasonal abundance of this species is needed in order to design appropriate control strategies.
Palavras-chave : Intrinsic rate of increase (rm); Date palm; Southern Tunisia; Deglet Noor; Seasonal abundance.